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Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)

Author(s) of the Book of Genesis:

Chapters 3 & 4

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Continued from Chapter 2

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Background (Repeated):

According to Jewish and Christian tradition, the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) were written by Moses under the inspiration of God. God inspired Moses to write the truth and prevented him from making any errors.  Many conservative Christians and Jews continue with this belief.

However, mainline & liberal theologians and secularists generally accept the "Documentary Hypothesis" which asserts that the Pentateuch was written by five authors or groups of authors, from diverse locations, over a period of centuries. Each wrote with the goal of promoting his/her own religious views. In Genesis:

bullet J: a writer who used Yahweh/Jehovah as the divine name.
bullet P: a writer who added material of major interest to the priesthood.
bullet R: a redactor who welded the contributions of J and P together into the present Pentateuch.

Chapters 3 & 4 of the book of Genesis are reprinted below. 1 The original author or group of authors, according to the Documentary Hypothesis, was "J.". We follow the identification by R.E. Friedman. 2,3

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CHAPTER 3:

1   (J) Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2    And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3    But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4    And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6    And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7    And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8    And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9    And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10    And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11    And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12    And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13    And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14    And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15    And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17    And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18    Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19    In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20    And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21    Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23    Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24    So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

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CHAPTER 4:

1    (J) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2    And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4    And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5    But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6    And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7    If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8    And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9    And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10    And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11    And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12    When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13    And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14    Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15    And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16    And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17    And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
18    And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19    And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20    And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21    And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22    And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
23    And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
24    If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
25    And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26    And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

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Continue with Chapter 5

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References used:

  1. The book of Genesis from the King James Version of the Bible.
  2. R.E. Friedman, "Who Wrote the Bible?" HarperCollins, (1997), Pages 246-247. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  3. R.E. Friedman, "The hidden book in the Bible: The discovery of the first prose masterpiece," Haper San Francisco. Review/order this book. The author traces the "J" component of the first four books of the Bible. He writes:  "Readers have an opportunity to see the first great prose writer's full achievement; an epic work of the struggle between God and humans. and between good and bad.

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Copyright 1998 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Latest update: 2011-FEB-01
Author: B.A. Robinson, & "P"

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